Greeneville Airport to host 'Fly-in and Cruise-in' this weekend

From Staff Reports

  
GREENEVILLE -- Aircraft enthusiasts can indulge their passion this weekend at the Greeneville Fly-in and Cruise-in scheduled this Saturday and Sunday at Greeneville-Greene County Airport.
   Planes featured at the event include "warbirds" such as the P-51, Hellcat, P-38, P-40, Corsair, Sea Fury, Thunderbolt, AT-6, T-28, Stearman, Waco, and B-25. The warbirds come from the Planes of Fame in Chino, Calif., and the Tennessee Aviation Museum, Local plane owners have also been invited to participate in aerial demonstrations during the event.
   Warbirds, by definition, are aircraft manufactured by the United States, or other governments, for purposes of flight training and national security. Warbirds include aircraft produced during WWI, WWII and subsequent era. Those featured in the Greeneville Fly-in and Cruise-in will be predominately from the World War II time period.
   Local sport aviation pilots and plane owners have also been invited to fly in. The Experimental Aircraft Association Clubs, Civil Air Patrol, R.O.T.C. and other organizations will be lending their support and assistance to the Fly-in and Cruise-in.
   The first Greeneville Fly-in and Cruise-in was held last year on one Saturday. Organizers said attendance was much higher than anticipated to the extent that many showed up on Sunday as well.
   The interest and enthusiasm has encouraged Jack Kiehna and Jerry Bond to expand the event to include Saturday and Sunday and to broaden the invitation base to more pilots, plane owners and the general public.
   Most of the warbirds featured at this event are no longer being produced, and several are among the very limited number of remaining flyable examples of their vintage.
   These aircraft are representative of a "flying museum" of aircraft that played a major role in the shaping of the history of the United States and aviation in general. Once they are gone, the sights, sounds and smells associated with these special pieces of aviation equipment will be but a memory.
   Organizers have extended a special invitation to general aviation aircraft owners, pilots and aviation organization members from regional airports around the region including the Tri-Cities Regional Airport and Elizabethton Municipal Airport.
   Last year, several members of local car clubs brought their classic automobiles to the event. The car buffs enjoyed themselves and fit in well with the aviation enthusiasts. So, organizers decided to include the "cruise-in" portion of this year's event to invite the classic automobiles back and to make space available for them to place their cars on display.
   Kids can also take their first flight through the Young Eagles program at the event. The Experimental Aircraft Association established a program under the direction of General Chuck Yeager to fly 1,000,000 children ages 8-17 on their first flight before December of 2003.
   Parents who have a child that has never flown can give them the first time opportunity as part of the Young Eagles program at the event. The Young Eagles flights will be between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday only. Kids will be flown on a "first-come, first-serve" basis and will be presented with a certificate at the end of the flight.
   Parking will be in designated pasture fields in proximity to the airport. Parking lots on the airport will be reserved for airport and event staff, volunteers and emergency equipment. Attendees are asked to park in ways that do not disturb the flow of traffic into or away from the airport.
   The cost of admission will be $5 per day, per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at participating local Hardee's restaurants, the Greeneville Aviation Services at the Greeneville Airport or at Advanced Flight at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
   For more information about the event, call Jerry Bond at 737-3090 or Jack Kiehna at 638-4925.